NewsKristin Smart Case


Paul Flores transferred out of San Luis Obispo County

Paul Flores 8-2.PNG
Posted at 9:01 AM, Mar 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-31 22:18:19-04

Paul Flores has been transferred out of San Luis Obispo County.

According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Flores, 46, was moved to North Kern State Prison in Kern County on Thursday.

Flores has spent most of his time behind bars since his arrest on April 13, 2021 for the murder of Kristin Smart at the San Luis Obispo County Jail.

He was temporarily housed in Monterey County during his three-month-long jury trial last year where he was convicted of murdering the 19-year-old Cal Poly freshman following an off-campus party in May 1996.

The North Kern State Prison is one of two reception centers in Kern County.

“The significance is that ends San Luis Obispo's participation in the process and then he becomes, you know, a ward of the state," said San Luis Obispo criminal defense attorney Trace Milan.

Milan said the main purpose of these centers is to assess and classify the inmates.

“There could be a search of his person to see if he's got anything on his body that shouldn't be there. At that point, he does start a process of evaluation," added Milan.

That evaluation will include going over the specifics of his charges, his history including past convictions, past gang affiliation; anything that can help the staff figure out just how dangerous of an inmate he may be.

 “Through looking at your file and interviewing you they make a decision about, you know, how high of a security risk are you going to be? There is a point system. It starts at one and goes up from there," explained Milan.

Milan told KSBY on average, this process can take three months but it is a case-by-case process. This isn't Flores's final stop.

The final classification will pinpoint where the 46-year-old will serve his time for at least the next 15 years but possibly for the rest of his life.

The transfer to the medium-custody facility within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation system comes less than a month since Paul was given the maximum sentence of 25 years-to-life.

During that hearing, the judge called Flores “a cancer to society” and said, “It is necessary to remove you from society so that you can no longer prey on and victimize women. You deserve to spend every day you have left behind bars.”